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NOMORFILM Report Summary

Project ID: 634588
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.2.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NOMORFILM (Novel marine biomolecules against biofilm. Application to medical devices.)

Reporting period: 2015-04-01 to 2016-09-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Microalgae are a source of secondary metabolites useful as new bioactive compounds. The antibacterial activity of a few microalgae extracts has been reported. However, neither isolation nor characterization of the compounds responsible of the activity observed has been achieved. Most importantly, activity of microalgae extracts on biofilm formation has not been determined yet. Biofilm formation is especially important in infections and tissue inflammation related to implants and catheters. These problems finally cause a release of the implant, which must be removed and replaced by a new one, entailing an increase in antibiotic consumption, together with a health costs of 50,000-90,000 € per infection episode. The overall objective of NOMORFILM project is to search for antibiofilm compounds isolated from microalgae that will be useful in the treatment of this kind of infections and could be incorporated in the manufacturing of medical prosthetic devices.
Most industrially interesting antibiofilm molecules will be incorporated into nanoparticles in order to develop manufacturing methodologies able to incorporate these compounds into real prosthetic devices matrixes. Several objectives in the project deal with improving directly the health of the EU citizens as well as the associated health cost, by generating potential new drug candidates to combat important health problems as prosthetic devices biofilm infections. This implies that efforts trying to reduce the percentage of prosthetic devices replaced due to biofilm infection will play an important role at a socioeconomic level: less money invested in replacement of implants and in antimicrobial treatments, and fewer expenses associated to hospitalization days.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During this first period, important progresses in all the work packages have been achieved. Partners are working in cultivation of a large number of interesting microalgae species in order to obtain promising compounds with antibiofilm and antibacterial/antifungal activity. In addition, to avoid the loss of such source of valuable metabolites, NOMORFILM partners are adopting and enhancing cryopreservation methods.
The optimal protocol for extracting biomolecules from microalgae and cyanobacteria selected after preliminary tests consists of three solvents: hexane, ethyl acetate and methanol. Once the collection of microorganisms forming biofilm has been created, they have been used to the antibacterial and antibiofilm tests using the total extracts from WP1. Among the extracts tested in this first period, 76 extracts from different microalgae species showed antibacterial activity against at least one of these microorganisms, 85 extracts presented biofilm formation inhibition activity in more than two of the microorganisms tested, and 15 extracts were able to disrupt a mature biofilm. Among these extracts, 13 showing antibacterial and 12 showing antibiofilm activity have been selected for scaling-up in order to be fractionated.
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy (NMR) has been used as valuable help in WP1 and WP2 given that provides a snap shot of the metabolites produced by a microalga. Thus, several metabolites from microalgae total extracts have been identified, such as triglycerides, unsaturated acids, polar lipids, and largely monogalactosyl diacylglycerols.
Several dissemination actions have been carried out: the first video clip, entitled NOMORFILM: the sea as a source of new antibiotics (, section About;; the Secondary School Contest directed to disseminate project’s objectives to young EU students, and specifically all issues related to job opportunities derived from Blue Growth initiatives at EU; a Roadmap for EU marine biotechnology resources national policies; the first workshop on biofilms. In addition, the potential economic benefits of the NOMORFILM project and the benefits for the society have been evaluated.
The project has been presented to different scientific societies worldwide through 15 international congresses and seminars, 9 conferences, and 4 scientific communications. In addition, 2 open access publications, 4 promotional videos as well as 3 communications campaigns, several communications activities in different websites and communications using the 2.0 media (Facebook, Twitter) have been done.
Finally, a three-page leaflet as well as the webpage for the NOMORFILM project ( containing relevant, essential and general information about the project has been created. Regarding management and scientific coordination, the Coordination Team have carried out several activities such as preparation and control of Consortium Agreement, organization and updating the public and private domains of NOMORFILM website, organization of consortium meetings, preparation of documents related to the reporting to the EC, coordination of the partners.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

In the last decades, an increasing number of antibiotic resistant bacterial pathogens have become an important problem worldwide. This includes also biofilm-associated pathogens, causing prosthetic devices infections, and requiring costly implant replacement. Unfortunately, the discovery of new antibiotics has not occurred at the expected rate and only two new molecules have been marketed in the last years. Thus, several health agencies (British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics, and the WHO) have highlighted that we are close to a crisis point in the treatment of serious bacterial infectious diseases.
Given the inherent relationship between the expansion of the world’s population and the increment in orthopedic procedures, a substantial growth in the market of orthopedic implants is expected in the coming years. The development of a new generation of implants with enhanced biocompatibility properties shows long-term strategic importance to EU industry. We believe that introduction of the innovative approach to solve the health problem of biofilm formation expected from this project will contribute to the development of internal markets within the European industry of biomaterials.
The potential use of the new bioactive compounds developed in the NOMORFILM project as coating for orthopedic implants and bony fusion, and for the treatment of fractures, are, probably, the most suitable applications. Other possible applications of the project deliverables could be in the fields of drug delivery, sensors and medical diagnosis or food, water and air purification.
New implants with anti-biofilm coatings will be launched into the market, generating revenues for the companies and creating business opportunities. The investment will be returned rapidly and employment generation is thought to be of an important magnitude.
Most hospitals in the world would be interested in using products with such a coating in order to reduce their costs and improve their results.
Several objectives are directed to improve directly the health of EU citizens, by generating potential new drug candidates to combat important health problems as prosthetic devices biofilm infections that affect about 4,131,000 patients per year. This implies that efforts trying to reduce this problem by diminishing the percentage of prosthetic devices replaced due to biofilm infection will play an important role at a socioeconomic level that will assure a higher quality of life for these patients.

Related information

Record Number: 196368 / Last updated on: 2017-03-29
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